I hope to share more stories about myself. I hope to make you read relatable entries about my weaknesses and strengths. While I wait for the presence of mind and resources to write on these as well as I’ll love to, I try to chip in bits and pieces.
Tonight, when I type this, is June 18, 2019. I had my first term dinner tonight at the Nigerian Law school, Bwari campus, Abuja this evening. I decided to fill in my gratitude journal (which I’ll share all about in another blog post). After doing so, I started to read some old entries. Then I stumbled across this saved write-up which I was grateful for some weeks back, and which I’m still grateful for today. I heard it first in the movie, Akeelah and the bee. I must’ve seen that movie for the first time at around age 13. Here’s the quote written by Marianne Williamson which I’ll love to share with you:
“OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS NOT THAT WE ARE INADEQUATE. OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS THAT WE ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. IT IS OUR LIGHT, NOT OUR DARKNESS THAT MOST FRIGHTENS US. WE ASK OURSELVES, WHO AM I TO BE BRILLIANT, GORGEOUS, TALENTED, FABULOUS? ACTUALLY, WHO ARE YOU NOT TO BE? YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. YOUR PLAYING SMALL DOES NOT SERVE THE WORLD. THERE IS NOTHING ENLIGHTENED ABOUT SHRINKING SO THAT OTHER PEOPLE WON’T FEEL INSECURE AROUND YOU. WE ARE ALL MEANT TO SHINE, AS CHILDREN DO. WE WERE BORN TO MAKE MANIFEST THE GLORY OF GOD THAT IS WITHIN US. IT’S NOT JUST IN SOME OF US; IT’S IN EVERYONE. AND AS WE LET OUR OWN LIGHT SHINE, WE UNCONSCIOUSLY GIVE OTHER PEOPLE PERMISSION TO DO THE SAME. AS WE ARE LIBERATED FROM OUR OWN FEAR, OUR PRESENCE AUTOMATICALLY LIBERATES OTHERS.”
Its a most beautiful quote. Today, I’m grateful that I am liberated to shine, unhindered. Unbothered by popular opinion, I can stand up to my own beliefs and smile for the camera.
Today, I do not ask myself who am I to be brilliant, talented, gorgeous and fabulous. Actually, who am I not to be? I am brilliant, talented, gorgeous and fabulous. I’ll even add that I am an embodiment of uncommon class. And more importantly, I radiate the glory of God.
But this wasn’t always so. I once asked myself all these questions. Sometimes, I still act in ways that show that these questions are still under the surface. Not withstanding, its all getting better. I’m getting better.
In this spirit of joy, here are few pictures from my first term dinner at the Nigerian law school.
A recurring thought to me from this dinner is the issue of fitting in. I believe a part of refusing to play small is refusing to struggle to be seen or to make a point. In your extreme quietness, you’re making enough point. And in your extreme fireworks state, you’re making enough point. Do not tilt to any side to gain the approval of men. Rather, tilt upwards to better yourself.
And I leave you with another quote, however by an unknown writer:
I AM A PERSON. I AM NOT A MACHINE, SPREADSHEET, AGENDA OR RÉSUMÉ. I HAVE A HEARTBEAT, SKIN, SCARS AND A SOUL. MY WORTH ISN’T CALCULATED IN EFFICIENCIES, RESULTS OR LADDERS CLIMBED. I AM NOT THE SUM OF MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS — OR THE SUM OF MY MISTAKES. I AM NOT MY AMBITION, ENERGY LEVEL, APPROVAL RATING, MASS APPEAL OR WORTH TO THE COMPANY STORE. I AM NOT AN A-PLUS OR D-MINUS. I AM NOT A MESS OR A MISCALCULATION. I AM NOT A MISTAKE. RATHER, I AM A MIRACLE. AND SO ARE YOU. BECAUSE I AM A PERSON, MADE OF LOVE IN THE HANDS OF GOD. I WILL BE A PERSON TODAY. I WILL BE ME. I WILL RESIST THE URGE TO BELIEVE I’VE GOT TO FIGHT FOR MY PIECE; GOD SAYS THERE’S MORE THAN ENOUGH TO GO AROUND. I WILL SEE THE BEST IN OTHERS AND RECOGNIZE THE BEST IN MYSELF. I WILL REACH FOR VIRTUE MORE THAN TROPHIES, DIGNITY MORE THAN STARDOM. I WILL CHOOSE ENCOURAGEMENT OVER ENVY. I WILL REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE. I WILL STAND TALL ON THE INSIDE, EVEN IF I’M FEELING WEAK ON THE OUTSIDE. I AM A PERSON, A CITIZEN OF THE KINGDOM, WHERE THERE IS UNENDING GRACE FOR ME. BECAUSE I AM A PERSON, AND I BELONG TO JESUS
I hope as I let my light shine continually on this blog, I’m freeing you up to do the same. I hope I give you permission to live your truth today and always.
THERE IS NOTHING ENLIGHTENED ABOUT SHRINKING SO THAT OTHER PEOPLE WON’T FEEL INSECURE AROUND YOU. WE ARE ALL MEANT TO SHINE, AS CHILDREN DO. WE WERE BORN TO MAKE MANIFEST THE GLORY OF GOD THAT IS WITHIN US…
AND AS WE LET OUR OWN LIGHT SHINE, WE UNCONSCIOUSLY GIVE OTHER PEOPLE PERMISSION TO DO THE SAME
If you need to be liberated from any of these questions too, go on ahead and while you’re in the process, celebrate yourself.
Shining as always, Debby.